I love to read; escaping into a good book is a wonderful way to spend time. I often find myself talking to people about what they are reading and try to read books recommended to me by others. I was at a party when a friend of a friend started telling me about a book she’d read that had inspired her to change her outlook on life. She urged me to read it, which is how I found myself reading “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch.
I am interested in religion but am not a religious person myself. I have over the years toyed with the idea of a God but have yet to be convinced. The book was not one I would usually be drawn to reading but I pursued it, interested to learn what had had such a profound affect on the woman I met.
On the whole there was much about the book that irritated me but I did take something from it. My understanding of what was being said was that we are all connected to God, the universe, each other, all part of one big entity. We have the power to make things happen by willing it to be that way, we have power to influence what happens to us in our lives through the power of thought. Hence, if you think that your life is shit, the universe will think this is what you want and so it will happen. Therefore, if you think about what you want in life and how you want to be, the same principle will apply and the universe will make it so. It is the power of positive thinking.
About a year later I had a Venezuelan student staying with me. She was very interested in a book called ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, again stating that it had impacted on how she was leading her life and she wanted to share this with everyone. I spent some time looking at the book and found that it was relaying a very similar message. The universe is governed by a natural law called the law of attraction. It works on the principle of positive thinking – you can think your way to a better life. According to Wikipedia the law of attractions works by attracting into a person’s life the experiences, situations, events and people that ‘match the frequency’ of the person’s thoughts and feelings. Therefore, positive thinking and feeling positive are claimed to create life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness.
My favourite quote comes from a calendar the student gave me and is now permanently stuck to my fridge. It says “You most likely know of someone who is think and eats like a horse, and they proudly declare, ‘I can eat whatever I want and I am always the perfect weight’. And so the Genie of the Universe says, ‘Your wish is my command!'”
The problem with this way of thinking is that if you are prone to depression and negative thinking, you immediately feel responsible for all the terrible things that have happened in your life, thinking that if only we had thought differently we may have been able to change what occurred! It is also another reason to feel badly about ourselves when we are in a negative place, understanding that we brought ourselves here with our thinking and we have the power to change that but feel unable to which feeds into all the destructive thinking that goes with depression.
In essence however, I do believe that the principle is right. Positive thinking does have an impact on how we feel and live our lives. I like how Diesel from Zazenlife.com says it in his two recent blogs “What are you really thankful for” and “Materialism: Attaching Emotions to Physical Objects” and would recommend checking them out.
As for me, I’ve decided that the reason for life is for living and as long as you are not hurting others then you should live your life the best you can in whatever way you choose. I find balance is the key to being happy, everything in moderation!